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Archival description
School for the Contemporary Arts fonds
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Sound and moving images

Series consists of student film productions and accompanying textual records, as well as audio and audio-visual recordings of performances relating to the School's dance, music and theatre program, and the Summer Institute. Records include moving images, audio recordings, and textual material relating to publicity or post-production work.

School for the Contemporary Arts fonds

  • F-109
  • Fonds
  • 1964 - 2007

The fonds consists of records relating to activities of the School and its predecessors. Activities and events documented include the evolution of the department's structure, functions and governance; management of the School's budget and financial resources; management of School facilities; deliberations of School committees; correspondence of the Director with staff, faculty, other university departments and external organizations; curriculum development and course instruction; public-events programming; management of faculty and student relations; media relations, publicity and communications; and the organization of conferences and other special events.

Records include correspondence and reports; budgets and financial working papers; meeting agendas, minutes and supporting papers; course outlines and related material; media releases, event programs, flyers and booklets; audio and audio-visual recordings, films, photographs, posters and other graphic material; and departmental publications, including annual reports (1965-1976), course guides, newsletters and brochures.

School for the Contemporary Arts

Director's correspondence files

Series consists of the Director's correspondence with School program areas and faculty, other university departments and external (non-university) individuals and organizations. Activities and events documented include policy development, curriculum development, faculty and student relations, budget planning, facilities and space planning, liaison and collaboration with other university departments and external organizations and associations. Records include correspondence and reports; policies and procedures; meeting agendas and minutes; program and course proposals and descriptions; budget papers; notes and working papers; and printed reference material.

Student film workshop productions

The Simon Fraser University Film Workshop began in May 1967 when the university first obtained 16mm production facilities. The Film Workshop was a non-credit, production-orientated program coordinated through the Centre for Communication and the Arts that became the foundation for the SFU Film Minor program.

Under supervision of the University Resident in Film, students learned directing, filming, lighting, and sound technique, and served as cast and crew for each other's films. Students worked in 8mm, 16mm and videotape formats and produced films for educational rather than commercial purposes. At the end of each year, the films were screened on campus. Many of the films went on to win prizes in local and international student film festivals and have been screened all over North America and at European film festivals.

The film mentors leading the workshop in the early years included Shiela Reljic (1967 - 1969); Stan Fox, from CBC Vancouver (1969-1971); Luke Bennett, a New York film editor (1971-1972); Vincent Vaitiekunus (1972-1974); and Guy Bergeron, a filmmaker from Quebec (1974-1976). In 1979 Robert Nicholl, Jo Kirpatrick and Rick Patton, all filmmakers from the National Film Board (NFB) came to the workshop. That same year two more additional NFB filmmakers Tony Westman and Mark Smith joined the program along with Al Razutis (an independent experimental film maker from Vancouver). Staffing increases were met with an expansion in the Centre for the Arts and the creation of the film minor program that included courses in production and theory. This was supported by the growing curriculum of the Centre for the Arts that included a wide range of courses in theatre, sound, dance and studio art.

In 1987 SFU professors Patricia Gruben and Colin Browne conceived of Praxis, a national film writing and production workshop housed at the university. This program, along with SFU's four-year film program has enabled budding filmmakers to direct and produce their first feature films with renowned directors, writers, and editors.

The collection consists of textual records and 16mm films created by students who participated in the SFU Film Workshop program. For most of the film titles there are multiple reels which represent the individual production elements (i.e., A Roll, B Roll, Magnetic Track, Optical Track, Work Print) that were used to produce the final film version. Some films have related textual records that document the director's production notes used when editing the film.

Facilities management and equipment files

This series consists of records relating to the management of School facilities and equipment. Activities, topics and events documented include design, planning and construction of the SFU Theatre and Images Theatre, the history of the murals in the Theatre, policy development relating to security, facilities use and ticket procedures, management of equipment, transfer of responsibility for Images Theatre to the Audio Visual Centre in 1978, and space allocation planning for School administrative offices, teaching and performance space.

Records include correspondence, reports, policies and procedures, job descriptions, proposals, estimates, recommendations, floor plans, specifications and other architectural drawings, space inventories, equipment inventories and summaries, capital budget and major equipment requests, project request forms, invoices, and reference material.

Departmental correspondence - Theatre program

This series consists of the Director's correspondence relating to the administration of the Theatre program. Activities and topics documented include program establishment, curriculum and policy development, theatre design, planning and use policy, student and faculty relations. Records include correspondence, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, policies, program proposals, course proposals and descriptions, architectural drawings, and CVs.

Student films

Sub-sub-series consists of 16mm films created by SFU students who participated in the SFU Film Workshop. There are multiple reels associated with each film title that represent the individual production elements (i.e. A Roll, B Roll, Magnetic track, Optic Track and Work Print).

Public programming files

This series consists of records relating to public events programming by the School and its predecessors. Records include correspondence, reports, media releases, schedules, program event flyers and brochures.

School history and structure files

Series consists of records relating to the evolution of the School, its internal organization, mandate and scope of activities, reporting relationships, and departmental planning. Activities and events documented include departmental reviews, policy development, administrative reorganization, a market study conducted in 1971-1972, and a proposal for a downtown Canadian Centre for Contemporary Art (1984).

Records include correspondence, reports, background and discussion papers; proposals and planning documents; policy statements; budget submissions and supporting documentation; organization charts; media releases; meeting agendas, minutes and supporting papers; job descriptions and reclassifications; floor plans; work plans; notes and working papers.

Curriculum and instruction files

Series consists of records relating to the credit and non-credit instruction offered by the School and its predecessors, including courses, workshops, the annual Summer Symposium for secondary school students (1986-1991), and the annual Summer Institute for advanced students and working professionals (1987-1994). Records include correspondence, reports, course and workshop files, brochures, budgets and financial working papers.

Student film production records

Series consists of case files for individual films; includes textual records related to the director's comments on post-production tasks such as film processing, editing, splicing and the addition of sound and/or special effects. Note that not all films have a case file.

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